Are you interested in what is happening with Drupal Association membership? This is the first of two posts about our membership program. We've made some changes, but much remains the same. You may notice that the price slider has been removed from the contribution pages and it is replaced with price points that provide clearer options for paying. The new price points were selected after looking at the most frequent gift amounts from the slider. Don't worry, though: the minimum fee for membership will remain at the same levels as last year. We are also experimenting by testing graphics and placement of items on the pages and will let you know the results as you may find them useful for your own projects.
I want to explain why we moved away from the slider, but first, let's go over some history. The Drupal Association membership program began in 2007. For six years we kept membership dues at the same amounts. In 2013, we decided to make some changes after hearing from the community that there was a need for more price options. The idea was that, with flexible prices, more of the worldwide Drupal community could give back and become members while paying what they could afford.
To give donors more incentive to choose membership, we also decreased the minimum donation amount for individuals by 32%. Conversely, we raised the minimum amount for organizations-- Drupal itself has grown and matured, and we knew that Drupal businesses have as well. We figured, if this new structure did not work for an organization, the option for Individual membership would still be a good one.
So in mid-2013, we launched the slider pages into the universe. We learned that the slider did not provide users with enough guidance on how much to give. There was not enough information to suggest appropriate gift amounts, and members gave at many price points. So we have said farewell to the slider and will assess the price point performance in the months to come.
In the next post, we give a recap of 2014. If you have any thoughts or suggestions to share on the change or membership in general, your feedback is always welcome. Find me via contact form and reach out anytime.Personal blog tags: Membership
Drupal 7.35 and Drupal 6.35, maintenance releases which contain fixes for security vulnerabilities, are now available for download. See the Drupal 7.35 and Drupal 6.35 release notes for further information.Download Drupal 7.35
Download Drupal 6.35
Upgrading your existing Drupal 7 and 6 sites is strongly recommended. There are no new features or non-security-related bug fixes in these releases. For more information about the Drupal 7.x release series, consult the Drupal 7.0 release announcement. More information on the Drupal 6.x release series can be found in the Drupal 6.0 release announcement.Security information
We have a security announcement mailing list and a history of all security advisories, as well as an RSS feed with the most recent security advisories. We strongly advise Drupal administrators to sign up for the list.
Drupal 7 and 6 include the built-in Update Status module (renamed to Update Manager in Drupal 7), which informs you about important updates to your modules and themes.Bug reports
Drupal 7.35 and 6.35 were released in response to the discovery of security vulnerabilities. Details can be found in the official security advisory:
To fix the security problem, please upgrade to either Drupal 7.35 or Drupal 6.35.Update notes Planet DrupalDrupal version: Drupal 6.xDrupal 7.x
Interested in what is happening with Drupal Association membership? Here's a recap of 2014.
Last year, the Drupal Association membership program had a solid renewal rate, slight overall growth, and we surpassed revenue goals. We're happy to point out that even though the overall number of Organization Members has declined (our peak was 619 active organization members in 2013), it's because 82 of those companies have become our Supporters. This means they give at even greater levels than members. To all of our supporters, cheers and thank you for giving back to Drupal!
(For the general public: if you see a profile or company page on Drupal.org with a badge on it, you can thank the individual or organization for all that they do for Drupal!)
Do you have more thoughts or questions about membership? Find me via contact form anytime with your feedback.Membership
We have two team members slated to speak at two different Drupal Camps in March!
Gus Childs will be delivering a talk at MidCamp in Chicago titled, "Need a Better Way to Organize Your Features? Go Ask Alice." It’s based on a blog post of ours and he’ll cover Features best practices and how to stay sane while using them on your bigger projects.
Mark Dorison will be speaking at DrupalCamp NOLA on 3/28. His talk, "Spend More Time Surfing: Simplifying Your Code (and Life) With Entityfieldquery & EntityMetadataWrapper" will cover methods you can use right now to work with entities in Drupal 7.
If you’re attending either of these camps, be sure to say “hello” to Gus, Mark, or any other CHROMATIC team member that might be floating around. You just might land yourself a CHROMATIC t-shirt!
Today we’ll analyze the module MEFIBS (More Exposed Forms In Blocks).
Lately I often lighted on having the need to insert some exposed filters in more blocks, staying on the same view!
Since the last Drupal Core Update, the Drupal community has reduced the number of D8 critical issues to 45, and managed to keep the number of critical issues on one pagesince we hit 50 criticals on March 6th! We've also changed the behavior of the "admin role" setting so that any user with the "admin role" passes all permission checks automatically (like the superuser); added HTML5-lib to core so that HTML5 can be parsed properly; and fixed a bug preventing all PHPUnit tests from running.
Also, after a few months of work, the Technical Working Group, Drupal.org Software Working Group, Security Working Group, and frequent project application reviewers presented their proposed changes to the project application review process. They're looking for your feedback, so please read their proposal and leave your thoughts!
Some other highlights of the month were:
- xjm performed a detailed analysis of contibution and influence in Drupal 8.
- To improve user experience, field types are now grouped by category.
- Josh Taylor detailed how to automatically test contrib modules when Drupal 8 updates.
- On the front end, the $messages page element was converted into a block, a filter to render render-arrays was added to Twig, views base fields are now rendered like Field UI fields; the button, skip link, and comment components now follow CSS standards; and menu classes were added back.
- Sujith Nara wrote an overview of all the caching methods available in Drupal 8.
- To improve performance, getting fresh entity and field definitions no longer invalidates all caches, views exposed filter forms no longer cause cache tables to grow exponentially, views now sets cache tags on it's render arrays, views can now cache base tables and entity types, routes are now rebuilt on write; and the unused block_plugin cache tags were removed.
- Daniel Sipos wrote a tutorial on creating custom field formatters in Drupal 8.
- To improve developer experience, developers can enable an X-Drupal-Cache-Contexts HTML header to list cache tags, and entities and fields can now report which language their content is in.
- Amber Matz wrote an excellent article explaining dependency injection using real-world examples.
- Lee Rowlands explained the tradeoffs of using the Events system versus Alter hooks in Drupal 8.
- The procedural functions drupal_bootstrap(), drupal_get_bootstrap_phase(), language_load(), language_list(), language_default(), drupal_theme_access(), drupal_html_id(), node_type_load(), node_type_get_types(), entity_load('node_type'), entity_load_multiple('node_type'), request_uri(), system_rebuild_theme_data(), and entity_load_by_uuid() were all removed, as was the html => TRUE option to l() and the $script_path global variable.
See Help get Drupal 8 released! for updated information on the current state of the release and more information on how you can help.
We're also looking for more contributors to help compile these posts. Contact mparker17 if you'd like to help!Drupal 8 In Real Life
Voting in the Drupal Association's 2015 At-Large Board Elections ends Friday, so this is your last chance to make your voice heard! Anyone with a Drupal.org account that was created before the time nominations opened (January 31, 2015), and who has logged in at least once in the past year is allowed to vote, even if they are not a member of the Drupal Association!
Some other events happening in the coming weeks are:
- MidCamp starts tomorrow (March 19th) and runs until March 22nd at the University of Illinois in Chicago, Illinois, USA.
- DrupalCamp New Orleans will be on March 28th in New Orleans, LA, USA.
- Stanford Drupal Camp 2015 in Stanford, CA, USA will be on April 10th and 11th.
- Drupal Dev Days, a week of sprints among core contributors and Drupal veterans with awesome sessions on D8, is less than a month away (April 13—19), hosted in Montpellier, France. All the early bird tickets are gone, so buy your tickets soon!
- In case you missed it, DrupalCamp Ottawa has been postponed to summer 2015.
Do you follow Drupal Planet with devotion, or keep a close eye on the Drupal event calendar, or git pull origin 8.0.x every morning without fail before your coffee? We're looking for more contributors to help compile these posts. You could either take a few hours once every six weeks or so to put together a whole post, or help with one section more regularly. If you'd like to volunteer for helping to draft these posts, please follow the steps here!
The organization of DebConf15 (from 15 to 22 August 2015, in Heidelberg, Germany) is going smoothly, the call for proposals is open and today we want to provide some updates about our sponsors.
Twelve more companies have joined our nine first sponsors in supporting DebConf15. Thank you to all of them!
Our third Gold sponsor is the Matanel Foundation, which encourages social entrepreneurship in all over the world.
IBM, the technology and consulting corporation, has also joined the DebConf15 sponsorship at a Gold level.
Google, the search engine and advertising company, has increased its sponsorship level from Silver to Gold.
And last but not least, six more sponsors have agreed to support us at Bronze level: Godiug.net, the University of Zurich, Deduktiva, Docker, DG-i (which is also one of Debian's service partners), and PricewaterhouseCoopers (which also provides consultancy support for DebConf15).
The DebConf15 team is very thankful to all the DebConf sponsors for their support.Become a sponsor too!
DebConf15 is still accepting sponsors. Interested companies and organizations may contact the DebConf team through email@example.com, and visit the DebConf15 website at http://debconf15.debconf.org.
It can be difficult to decide whether to send representatives of your organization to DrupalCon. You may find yourself asking questions like, what's the ROI? What’s the value of being there in person? Is it really worth the money? There are tremendous benefits, measurable and immeasurable, to sending your employees to DrupalCon. Here are three reasons why going is a win-win for both your employees and your organization.
Since 2009, I am persuing a personal programming project. As I am not a professional programmer, I have spent quite a lot of that time exploring options. I have thrown out about three or four prototype implementations already. My last implementation seems to contain enough accumulated wisdom to be actually useful. I am far from finished, but the path I am walking now seems relatively sound.
So, what is this project about? I have set myself a rather ambitious goal: I am trying to implement a two-way bridge between visual music notation and braille music code. It is called BMC (Braille Music Compiler).
My problem: I am, as some of you might remember, 100% blind. So I am trying to write a translator between something I will never see directly, and its counterpart representation in a tactile encoding I had to learn from scratch to be able to work on this project. Braille music code is probably the most cryptic thing I have ever tried to learn. It basically is a method to represent a 2-dimensional structure like staff-notation as a stream of characters encoded in 6-dot braille.
As the goal above states, I am ultimately trying to implement a converter that works both ways. One of my prototypes already implemented reading digital staff notation (MusicXML) and transcribing it to Braille. However, to be able to actually understand all the concepts involved, I ended up starting from the other end of the spectrum with my new implementation: parsing braille music code and emitting digital staff notation (LilyPond and MusicXML). This is a rather unique feature, since while there is commercial (and very expensive) software out there to convert MusicXML to braille music code, there is, as far as I know, no system that allows to input un-annotated braille music code and have it automatically converted to sighted music notation.
So the current state of things is, that we are able to read certain braille music code formats, and output either reformatted (to new line-width) braille music code, LilyPond or MusicXML.
The ultimate goal is to also implement a MusicXML reader, and convert the data to something that can be output as braille music code.
While the initial description might not sound very hard, there are a lot of complications arising from how braille music code works, which make this quite a programming challenge. For one, braille music note and rest values are ambigious. A braille music note or rest that looks like a whole can mean a whole or 16th. A braille music note or rest that looks like a half can mean a half or a 32nd. And so on. So each braille music code value can have two meanings. The actual value can be caluclated with a recursive algorithm that I have worked out from scratch over the years. The original implementation was inspired by Samuel Thibault (thanks!) and has since then evolved into something that does what we need, while trying to do that very fast. Most input documents can be processed in almost no time, however, time signatures with a value > 1 (such as 12/8) tend to make the number of possible choices exploed quite heavily. I have found so far one piece from J.S. Bach (BWV988 Variation 3) which takes about 1.5s on my 3GHz AMD (and the code is already using several CPU cores).
Additionally, braille music code supports a form of "micro"-repetitions which are not present in visual staff notation which effectively allow certain musical patterns to be compressed if represented in braille.
Another algorithmically interesting part of BMC that I have started to taclke just recently is the linebreaking problem. Braille music code has some peculiar rules when it comes to breaking a measure of musical material into several lines. I ended up adapting Donald E. Knuth's algorithm from Breaking Paragraphs into Lines for fixed-width text. In other words, I am ignoring the stretch/shrink factors, while making use of different penalty values to find the perfect solution for the problem of breaking a paragraph of braille music code into several lines.
One thing that I have learnt from my perivous prototype (which was apparently useful enough to already acquire some users) is that it is not enough to just transcribe one format to another. I ultimately want to store meta information about the braille that is presented to the user such that I can implement interactive querying and editing features. Braille music code is complicated, and one of the original motivations to work on software to deal with it was to ease the learning curve. A user of BMC should be able to ask the system for a description of a character at a certain position. The user interface (not implemented yet) should allow to play a certain note interactively, or play the measure under the cursor, or play the whole document, and if possible, have the cursor scroll along while playback plays notes. These features are not implemented in BMC yet, but they have been impleemnted in the previous prototype and their usefulness is apparent. Also, when viewing a MusicXML document in braille music code, certain non-structural changes like adding/removing fingering annotations should be possible while preserving unhandled features of the original MusicXML document. This also has been implemented in the previous prototype, and is a goal for BMC.I need your help
The reason why I am explaining all of this here is that I need your help for this project to succeed. Helping the blind to more easily work with traditional music notation is a worthwhile goal to persue. There is no free system around that really tries to adhere to the braille music code standard, and aims to cover converting both ways. I have reached a level of conformance that surpasses every implementation of the same problem that I have seen so far on the net.
However, the primary audience of this software is going to be using Windows. We desperately need a port to that OS, and a user interface resembling NotePad with a lot fewer menu entires. We also need a GTK interface that does the same thing on Linux. wxWindows is unfortunately out of question, since it does not provide the same level of Accessibility on all the platforms it supports. Ideally, we'd also have a Cocoa interface for OS X. I am afraid there is no platform independent GUI framework that offers the same level of Accessibility on all supported platforms. And since much of our audience is going to rely on working Accessibility, it looks like we need to implement three user interfaces to achieve this goal :-(.
I also desperately need code reviews and inspiration from fellow programmers. BMC is a C++11 project heavily making use of Boost. If you are into one of these things, please give it a whirl, and emit pull requests, no matter how small they are. While I have learnt a lot in the last years, I am sure there are many places that could use some fresh winds of thought by people that are not me. I am suffering from what I call "the lone coder syndrome".
I also need (technical) writers to help me complete the pieces of documentation that are already lying around. I have started to write a braille music tutorial based on the underlying capabilities of BMC. In other words, the tutorial includes examples which are being typeset in braille and staff notation, using LilyPond as a rendering engine. However, something like a user manual is missing, basically, because the user interface is missing. BMC is currently "just" a command-line tool (well enough for me) that transcribes input files to STDOUT. This is very good for testing the backend, which is all that has been important to me in the last years. However, BMC has reached a stage now where its functionality is likely useful enough to be exposed to users. While I try to improve things steadily as I can, I realize that I really need to put out this call for help to make any useful progress in a foreseeable time.
If you think it is a worthwhile goal to help the blind to more easily work with music notation, and also enable communication between blind and sighted musicians in both ways, please take the time and consider how you could help this project to advance. My email address can be found on my GitHub page. Oh, and while you are over at GitHub, make sure to star BMC if you think it is a nice project.
It would be nice if we could produce a end-user oriented release before the end of this year.
For the past few months, members of the Technical Working Group, Drupal.org Software Working Group, Security Working Group, and frequent project application reviewers have been working on proposed changes to the project application review process.
The proposed changes have been posted for public review. https://www.drupal.org/node/2453587
If you have any comments or questions, please add them to the issue. This proposal is open for feedback until the end of March. We will then incorporate the feedback and start working on implementing these changes.
The DebConf Content Team will decide on a first round of submissions in May, so be sure to submit your proposal soon if you need it to be accepted by then, e.g. for sponsorship requests.
The current, non-exhaustive list of proposed topics is:
- Debian Packaging, Policy, and Infrastructure
- Security, Safety, and Hacking
- Debian System Administration, Automation and Orchestration
- Containers and Cloud Computing with Debian
- Debian Success Stories
- Debian in the Social, Ethical, Legal, and Political Context
- Blends, Subprojects, Derivatives, and Projects using Debian
- Embedded Debian and Hardware-Level Systems
For all further information, please see the Proposals page of the DebConf15 website.
Drupal 8 comes with two extension points for module developers to allow other modules to interact with their code.
The trusty alter hook, the linchpin of Drupal versions past is still there - allowing other modules to interact and intervene in the behaviour of your module.
But there is a new kid on the block, the event system.
So as a module developer how do you decide whether to use the alter system or the event system.